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Gate City boys, Ridgeview girls zero in on region berths

Kevin Mays • Feb 4, 2020 at 11:01 PM

GATE CITY — Gate City’s boys and Ridgeview’s girls took a huge step toward clinching Region 2D basketball tournament berths Tuesday.

After the Wolfpack girls prevailed in a down-to-the-wire 46-44 win against the Lady Blue Devils, Gate City beat Ridgeview 84-42 in their Mountain 7 District contest at Gate City Middle School.

BOYS CLINCH A TIE

Gate City (14-5, 10-0) clinched at least a co-Mountain 7 championship. The Blue Devils can win the district outright with a victory at Wise Central on Friday.

Central (15-5, 8-2) kept its district title hopes alive Tuesday with a 76-69 win over Union.

“We’ll prepare and get ready for Friday,” Gate City coach Scott Vermillion said.

Vermillion said his team isn’t looking down the road at a possible district championship, which would also give Gate City the No. 1 seed in the Mountain 7 tournament and the district’s automatic bid and top seed for the Region 2D tournament.

“I’ve been at this a long time. That’s a dangerous, dangerous thing,” the coach said. “We can control tonight how we rest and tomorrow how we prepare.

“It’s going to be an exciting game Friday (at Central). It will be a packed gym. It will be fun.”

In the first half Tuesday, Ridgeview (10-9, 2-7) controlled the tempo and gave Vermillion’s Blue Devils fits.

The Wolfpack led 15-14 in the first quarter, but the squad’s shooting fell off in the second quarter. Gate City outscored Ridgeview 16-4 in the period for a 30-19 halftime advantage.

Gate City took over the tempo and the game in the second half, outscoring the ’Pack 54-23.

Bradley Dean put up 20 of his game-high 27 points in the second half. Jon Compton finished with 14 for the Blue Devils and Andrew Hensley had 13.

Ridgeview, which travels to John Battle on Friday, got 17 points from Gabe Brown.

ONE STEP CLOSER

Ridgeview’s girls closed in on a second-place finish in the Mountain 7, the district’s top seed and the automatic Region 2D bid.

If Abingdon wins out, as expected, to clinch the Mountain 7 title, the Lady Falcons will gain an automatic bid to the Region 3D tournament. Because Abingdon is the only Class 3 team in the seven-team district, Mountain 7 rules state if Abingdon wins the regular-season title, the district’s second-place team — or highest-ranked Class 2 school — would earn the district’s top seed and automatic Region 2D bid.

Ridgeview (15-4, 7-2) holds a two-game advantage on Gate City (10-9, 6-4) and Union (14-5, 6-4) after Tuesday’s games.

“We have to win two out of our last three,” Ridgeview coach Donnie Frazier said.

The outcome between the Wolfpack and Lady Blue Devils was in question until the final second.

Shae Sutherland hit a basket and a free throw to put Ridgeview up 43-41 with 1:06 remaining in the game. Cassidy Thomas added another free throw to put the Wolfpack up by three, 44-41, with 27 seconds left.

Gate City’s Macy Mullins then hit a 3-point shot with 14 seconds left for a 44-all tie, but Brook Frazier came through on the other end with a pair of free throws with six seconds to play for the winning margin.

Gate City’s shot attempt at the buzzer fell short.

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